'Stop fighting with us': Riot Fest organizers, Douglass Park neighbors continue to clash over festival
CHICAGO - The future of Riot Fest is unclear after a community meeting with organizers and Douglass Park neighbors spiraled into complete chaos.
Tensions ran high Thursday night as neighbors sparred with Riot Fest organizers about the music festival, which will be returning this September.
The long list of complaints from neighbors who live near the park includes noise, parking issues, street closures and taking over the community's green space.
Riot Fest debuted back in 2005, but in 2015, it changed venues, making Douglass Park its stomping grounds.
"Yell out all you want, we're going to do this regardless. We need to work together, stop yelling, stop fighting with us, yell, let's present it, and we're going to go to Q and A, we're going to take your questions," one organizer said.
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"How is Riot Fest coming to North Lawndale, 24th Ward, going to benefit the people that live in the community, the people that work in the community, and the people that have to deal with the situation," one resident argued.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Riot Fest said, in part:
"Riot Fest's community meeting was passionate, and at times, loud, as supporters and opponents were able to ask questions and air concerns. We got a lot of great input and surveys, and we are already getting to work to address the issues that the community raised."
The rep also said that two additional meetings will be held with the community prior to the festival returning in September.